Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Feature: Lisabet Sarai's Confused Characters! AND GIVEAWAY!

It's always a pleasure to have fellow Totally Bound author, Lisabet Sarai on the blog. She's got a great guestpost today, so I will let her get to it!

***Make sure you answer Lisabet's question to YOU so you can get entered in her drawing for an awesome read!***

Confused Characters

Romance heroines tend to be quite sure of themselves, at least as far as love is concerned. There are two common situations that show up again and again. In many stories, the heroine recognizes her soul mate early on. She and the hero struggle against the external obstacles to their eventual union: social, economic or cultural differences; war, disease or disaster; active resistance or meddling by villains or other ill-intentioned individuals. In other tales, the heroine starts out quite certain that the hero is not a good match, because he’s too young for her, perhaps, or too arrogant, or because they’re on the opposite or competing sides in some conflict (for instance, he’s a Federal agent and she’s a local police officer, as in C.A.’s Collision Force). In these stories, she must overcome the inner barriers separating her and her (eventual) mate.

Many of my books don’t fall into either of these patterns. Thinking about my most recent release, The Ingredients of Bliss, I realized that my heroines are frequently confused about their romantic fate. In my very first novel, Raw Silk, Kate is torn among three lovers, each of whom fulfills her needs in a different way. She ends up choosing one of them, but both she and the reader are in suspense for much of the book. In Wild About That Thing, Ruby Jones feels conflicted and guilty when the dashing René enters her life, making her question her passionate “friends-with-benefits” relationship with Zeke. The solution in this book is a polyamorous triad, not something Ruby would have ever considered until the two men who care for her suggest it.

Mei Lee “Emily” Wong has similar problems in The Ingredients of Bliss. Is her mild-mannered master Harry Sanborne meant to be the love of her life? Or the sexy, debonair chef Etienne Duvalier, who secretly wants to be her slave? When both guys end up in her bed together, does this mean the three of them can construct a long-term, stable triangle? Or will an attempt to satisfy both the submissive and the dominant aspects of Emily’s psyche just lead to pain and disappointment?

It may be that this recurring theme in my work harkens back to my own somewhat wild and crazy youth. At one point, I had several romantic relationships going on concurrently. I recall feeling the same sort of confusion when trying to understand just how each of the people with whom I was involved might fit into my future.

I do worry a bit that my heroines’ uncertainty might turn readers off. There’s not much I can do about it, though. As my hostess will undoubtedly confirm, characters tend to have minds of their own. If one of my heroines is confused, I have to wait for her to find her own answers. I can’t impose them.

What do you think?  Do characters need to be sure what they want? Or are you willing to let them discover their true desires over the course of a story? Leave me a comment with your answer (and your email address).  

I’ll draw one name and give away an ebook copy of my sexy music-themed ménage romance Wild About That Thing.

And before I forget, a big thanks to C.A. for having me as her guest. Actually, she will be at my blog tomorrow. I hope you’ll drop by for a visit!


The Ingredients of Bliss by Lisabet Sarai

One sexy French chef.One kinky American TV producer. One ambitious Chinese gal who thinks she wants them both. The ingredients of bliss? Or a recipe for disaster?

Accomplished cook Mei Lee ‘Emily’ Wong knows exactly what she wants—her own show on the Tastes of France food channel. But life is full of complications. First, her deceptively nerdy producer Harry Sanborne initiates Emily into the delights of submission. Then her boss, legendary chef Etienne Duvalier, begs her to dominate him. Emily just can’t resist—especially when Harry orders her to explore her inner mistress. Suave and sexy Etienne will do whatever she asks, in the bedroom if not in the kitchen. And Harry, her lovingly diabolical Dom, adores pushing Emily’s limits.

When the network sends the trio to France to shoot a series of cooking shows on location, Emily knows her career is on the upswing. Her plans fall apart in Marseille as a Hong Kong drug syndicate kidnaps both Etienne and Harry. The Iron Hammer Triad mistakes Etienne for notorious gangster Jean Le Requin, who has stolen their drug shipment, worth millions. Emily realizes she must find the real Le Requin, retrieve the purloined dope, and bargain it for Harry’s and Etienne’s lives. The secret she’s been keeping from Harry might prove useful. Still, what chance does one woman whose knife skills are limited to chopping vegetables have against the ruthless cruelty of two criminal organizations?

Read an Excerpt Here!

Buy it!

More Lisabet:

Amazon Author Page
Yahoo Group

About Lisabet:

Lisabet Sarai believes that imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Determined to live up to that motto, she has published more than fifty single author erotic titles and scores of sexy short stories, as well as editing nine acclaimed erotic anthologies. Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre. A passionate traveler, she currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tell Me About it Tuesday Welcomes DEBUT Author Carolyn Rae!

I am SUPER excited to have a friend of mine on here today. I have known this wonderful lady for a few years, and she's an AWESOME person.

Her romance debut is FINALLY out, and I am honored to have her here for an interview and a share!

Meet Carolyn:

An active member of the North Texas RWA, the Dallas Area Romance Authors, the Yellow Rose RWA and the DFW Writer’s Workshop, Carolyn has written several novels, including a series featuring people in the Witness Security Program.
Carolyn also loves to travel. On her mini-cruise to Coco Kay she spoke to the attendees of the Florida Romance Writer’s Fun in the Sun Conference about Luring Readers into the Story though Deep Viewpoint and followed up with Finding Time for Your Dream on a later Fun in the Sun Conference.

Q. Do you do any special research for your novels?

A. I saw an invitation to join an archaeological dig in Peru near Cuzco and researched all the equipment I’d need. Then I spoke with a friend who had been to Machu Picchu. She gave me pictures of the scenery and what the natives wore and told me about chewing Coca leaves to lessen the effects of high altitude. She said some natives just chew them because they enjoy doing it. I researched the history of Machu Picchu on the Internet and read in the newspaper about Yale University reaching an agreement with Peru about keeping some of the Machu Picchu artifacts, donated by Hiram Bingham who discovered it in July, 1911, and returning others to Peru.

Q. What’s your favorite genre to read? Do you write it?

A. I love reading romantic suspense, action adventure stories, thrillers and mysteries. I write romantic suspense and romantic thrillers.

Q. What are you working on right now? Can you tell us about it?

A. I am working on the sequel, Romancing the Doctor. I have finished it and am waiting for it to be edited.

Q. Did you ever write a character you didn’t like? Or one that gave you problems, going against your intentions for them or your story?

A. Once I based the character of the hero on an interesting guy I’d met. However, in the  story, the character developed in his own way and was different from the man I’d met.

Okay...enough with the business questions! How about some fun stuff. You know, just between the two of us.

Q. The opportunity to go on a surprise vacation arises. You have 90 minutes to pack and get to the airport. Where will you go and what will you pack?

A. I’ve always wanted to go to Greece, see the Parthenon, and visit some of the islands. I’d take my camera, a notebook, a bathing suit, some comfortable shoes and clothes, and my Kindle to read novels on the plane.

Q. When YOU read, what do you like to pick up?

A. I love thrillers and romantic suspense

Q. If they make a movie about your life, who do you want to play your part?

A. Katherine Turner. She was great in Romancing the Stone.

Q. Tell us one thing about you that might surprise can be a secret...we won't tell. :)

A. I used to work in a federal prison in Fort Worth. When I learned I was going to be laid off, I was offered a job by one of the inmates. I turned him down.  He was a pimp.

Now for my FAVE PART! Tell me about the BOOK! (THE COVER IS FAB!)

Megan McKinley finds searching for gold fascinating when she meets attractive photographer Joseph Logan. However, he has a secret agenda, to discover who’s smuggling Peruvian artifacts.
This fall, you can follow Megan McKinley as she rediscovers the teacher she had a crush on as a studly, bearded photographer. Then she finds out the real reason he’s here, and that he suspects her of wrong doing.


Chapter One

Megan McKinley basked in the warm sun. Here she was, sitting beside her friend, Paula, on a hard wooden board, on her way to Cuzco, Peru, in a donkey cart of all things. She took a deep breath of the clear, fresh air. She’d waited all year to take part in this archaeological expedition, and she’d already made a great find.
Noise from behind made her look back. A red car was creeping along beside them. A hulking man stepped out of the car.
“Hand over your purses,” he barked.
Megan’s stomach lurched. She couldn’t hand him her bag. Her debit card would allow access to the money she’d scrimped and saved to finish her master’s degree. Why the hell hadn’t she put it in her money belt? Now, she wished they hadn’t missed the archaeology camp’s van leaving for town. Her degree and this expedition were supposed to cinch that job at the Smithsonian. Ever since her parents took her to the museum as a child, Megan wanted to spend days and days there. She’d hoped she might soon have that chance, but now….
The driver cracked his whip and gave a command. The donkey brayed as the cart jerked forward. Every bump jarred her, while overworked muscles complained with twinges and aches from digging for artifacts.
The man with the bulging biceps continued to walk beside them.
“Stop!” he commanded, but their teenaged driver refused to comply.
Cropped, curly hair framed the stocky man’s brown-skinned face as he puffed on a cigarette. The acrid smoke set her nostrils quivering. The gun in his hand, although only palm-size, made her tremble. The dark-skinned car-driver, leaner, but just as mean looking, continued to keep pace with the donkey cart.
The man on foot pointed the gun directly at Megan. His eyes narrowed.
“Give me your purses,” he bellowed and motioned with his free hand.
Eagles collided in Megan’s stomach. A bead of sweat trickled down her neck. Her fingers tensed and her insides twisted even tighter. Staring at the barrel of the gun, she caught her breath. Dust from the dirt road swirled around, making it hard to breathe.
More Carolyn